BDJF: bands outside

Jazz Fest time for the local schools

If I lived closer to Burlington there wouldn’t have to be as many choices made about what to see (and not see) when it comes to the Discover Jazz Festival. I’d love to spend the full 10 days at the Festival, taking it all in. But, between the 45+ minute drive each way, and a real life that requires being on the air at 8am sharp weekday mornings (then working all day), the choices are inevitable. That means I usually save my energy for the evening events during the week, getting downtown whenever I can during the weekdays but it can be pretty hit-and-miss, unfortunately.

When friends tell me about the fine school-aged bands that play on the Church Street stages every day I know I’m missing out, but the thought of it also makes me happy in recalling what a special feeling it was to be in one of those bands years ago as a young musician in Denver. We didn’t have a jazz festival, but we had Skyline Park – a hot patch of concrete in the middle of all the skyscrapers downtown, with a little grass and some trees. For the most part it’s a ‘park’ in much the same way that the perennially parched concrete canal bisecting Los Angeles is fondly referred to locally as the “LA River”. It was fine. You know. It’s what we had, as city kids.

Every year the Denver Public Schools summer band program (back in the days when there were public school music programs – much less in the off-season) culminated in a concert at Skyline Park. We would always hope to be one of the bands scheduled on the early side, before it got too hot or we had to worry about the daily round of late-afternoon thunderstorms. I did it for several summers, each year in early July toting my French Horn downtown on the RTD bus with my mom and sister.

What joy to make music outside.

Now I can appreciate it from the other viewpoint, as one of the office workers emerging into the open air during lunch hour to enjoy music being made by motivated young bands. And there are a LOT of them during the Discover Jazz Fest. Here’s a list of who’s playing this week (I know the first two days’ events are already passed – but how could I not include them?):

MONDAY 6/6

City Hall Stage:
12:30-1:30 PM      Keene Central School
1:45 – 2:45     Essex Middle School All-American Flying Submarine Band
4:15 – 5:15     Vergennes Union High School Commodore Jazz Ensemble
5:30 – 6:30     Middlebury Union High School

Fountain Stage:
Noon – 1:00 PM      Edmunds Middle School Jazz Band
1:15 – 2:15     Rutland High School Jazz Ensemble
2:30 – 3:30     Rutland Town School “T” Jazz Ensemble
3:45 – 4:45     Stowe High School Jazz Ensemble
6:00 – 8:00     Vermont Jazz Ensemble

——-

TUESDAY 6/7

City Hall Stage:
12:30 – 1:30 PM      Albert D Lawton Middle School Jazz Band
1:45 – 2:45     Brown’s River Middle School
3:00 – 4:00     Lamoille Union High School/ Middle School
4:15 – 5:15     Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School
5:30 – 6:30     South Burlington High School

Fountain Stage:
Noon – 1:00 PM      Grand Isle School Munchkins
1:15 – 2:15     Charlotte Central School Stage Band
2:30 – 3:30     Mount Abraham Union High School Jazz Ensemble & Sweet Transition
3:45 – 4:45     Burlington High School Jazz Improv

——-

WEDNESDAY 6/8

City Hall Stage:
12:30 – 1:30 PM      Fairfield Center School
1:45 – 2:45     Camel’s Hump Middle School Jazz Band and Select Choir
3:00 – 4:00     Enosburg Falls Middle High School
4:15 – 5:15     U32 High School Jazz Band
5:30 – 6:30     FlynnArts Jazz Combos

Fountain Stage:
Noon – 1:00 PM      Alburgh Middle School
1:15 – 2:15     North Warren Jr/Sr High School Jazz Ensemble
2:30 – 3:30     Spaulding High School
3:45 – 4:45     Burlington High School Jazz Ensemble

——-

THURSDAY 6/9

City Hall Stage:
12:30 – 1:30 PM      Missisquoi Valley Union and Sheldon High Schools
1:45 – 2:45     Harwood Union High School and Middle School
3:00 – 4:00     Harwood Union High School and Middle School
4:15 – 5:15     CVU Jazz
5:30 – 6:30     United College Club

Fountain Stage:
Noon – 1:00 PM      Barre Town School Senior Jazz Band
1:15 – 2:15     Stafford Technical Center Jazz and Contemporary Music Ensemble
2:30 – 3:30     FlynnArts Adult Rock & Blues Combo
3:45 – 4:45     Windsor High School Jazz Band

——-

FRIDAY 6/10

City Hall Stage:
12:30 – 1:30 PM      Vermont All State Jazz Ensemble
1:45 – 2:45     The Renaissance School String Ensemble
3:00 – 4:00     Mater Christi School
4:15 – 5:15     Rice Jazz Ensemble

Fountain Stage:
2:30 – 3:30      Montpelier High School Red Klay
3:45 – 4:45     Bolton Central Jazz Band

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